Padmasambhava, an emanation of the Buddha Amitaba, Shakyamuni Buddha and Kuan Yin Boddhisattva was a great yogi from the region that borders on present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan. He brought Buddhism to Himalayan Kingdom in the eighth century and is affectionately called Guru Rinpoche. He spent more than 55 years in Tibet, manifesting countless wonders and is highly revered by all the schools of Vajrayana Buddhism, and especially by the Nyingma.
Guru Padmasambhava gave teachings and transmission of the Vajrayana to hundreds of disciples. His main students, The Twenty-Five Disciples, are the root incarnations of the masters of this day. With his principle disciple, Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, he concealed thousands of hidden teachings or Termas in many places for the benefit of future generations. The successive incarnation of Padtselling Trulku’s Lineage is combined manifestation of Ngenlam Gyelwa Choyang, Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal and Shubu Palgyisenge, three among The Twenty-Five main Disciples of Guru Rinpoche. Some termas are discovered within the mindstream of realized disciples, and are revealed when most appropriate for the times. In this way each successive generation of students is able to make a new beginning with a fresh revelation that is suited to its particular needs and capacities. Similarly, the distance from the Buddha to the practitioner is very short when a revelation is fresh and direct and there is no possibility of loss or corruption in the line of transmission. Through the Terma tradition the Nyingma school has been able to stay in close and continual contact with the spirit, energy and inspiration of Guru Rinpoche.
Guru Rinpoche appeared miraculously in the blossom of a lotus in Lake Danakosha, the “Ocean of Milk” in South West Oddiyana. When the king saw the child sitting on the lotus, he was filled with delight and invited the him to the palace as his son and religious guide. The child was named Padmasambhava, the “lotus-born.” Padmasambhava killed the son of a wicked minister and transferred his consciousness. As a result, he was banished form the country to the fearful cemetery of Sitavana where he gradually he accomplished the common and uncommon siddhis and came to be known as Rodravajrakala.
In order to inspire faith towards the teachings in disciples of the future, he traveled to Bodhgaya and many other places receiving teachings from many scholars, accomplished masters and dakinis. By listening just once, he comprehended and accomplished the whole Vinaya, Sutra and Abhidharma, as well as the teachings of the outer and inner secret mantra, oral transmissions, and the pith instructions of the highest tantra of Atiyoga. He took princess Mandarava, daughter of the king of Zahor, as his consort. In the mountain cave of Maratika, in Nepal, they performed the accomplishment rituals of longevity and actualised the immortal vajra body. Guru Rinpoche returned to Oddiyana disguised as a beggar but many people recognised him and he was sent to be burned alive in a sandalwood fire. When the fire was lit, he miraculously transformed it into a huge lake filled with lotuses. Seated with his consort on a giant lotus in the middle of the lake, the king, ministers, and people were astounded and developed great faith in him. Visits of Guru Rinpoche to Bhutan.
Sendha Gyab (also known as Sindhu Raja), the king of Bumthang, became possessed by a demon, and it required a powerful tantric master to exorcise it. As requested by Sindhu Raja, Guru visited Bhutan in 746 AD before he visited Tibet and captured the demon and converted it to Buddhist Dharma Protractors. The King was cured, restoring the country and his rival to peace. He left his body print at Kurjey, Bumthang. The Guru returned to Bhutan via Singye Dzong in Lhuentse and visited the districts of Bumthang, Mongar and Lhuentse. He was returning from Tibet where, at the invitation of Trisong Detsen, he had introduced Nyingma Buddhism and overcame the demons that were obstructing the construction of Samye Monastery. At Gom Kora, in eastern Bhutan, he left a body print and an impression of his head with a hat. He flew in the form of Dorji Drakpo (one of his eight manifestations) to Taktshang in Paro on a flaming tigress, giving the famous Taktshang monastery the name ‘Tiger’s Nest’. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche also made a third visit to Bhutan during the reign of Muthri Tsenpo (764–817), the son of Trisong Detsen.